miércoles, 21 de abril de 2021

Racking Wine Meaning and Definition


Racking wine, is the transfer of musts or wines carried out within the winery from one vessel to another whether before, during or after fermentation (from tanks to other tanks), or whilst they are ageing in barrels (from casks to other casks), or (from casks to tanks) and vice versa, depending of the wine making process.

Winemakers usually take advantage of this racking operations (depending on wine type and the stage of winemaking and ageing) to totally or partially remove sediment, dregs, pomace, skins, tartrates, lees, etc. The elimination of solids, which contributes to clarification, may be done by precipitation or settling, by filtration, lees racking, etc.

Racking operations are vatting, drawing off, bleeding, dranining or "rociado", which are accomplished either with the aid of pumps or by gravity. In all of them, it is important to control aeration in order to avert undesirable oxidations.

Racking is the wine making operation of removing clear wine from the settled sediment or lees in the bottom of a container. The verb to rack has been used thus at least since the 14th century.

Racking is usually achieved by pumping or siphoning the wine away from the sediment into an empty container but especial large racking tanks are used by some large wineries. They are equipped with drain lines, the lower ends of which can be adjusted to just clear the sediment layer and permit more rapid and more complete wine removal from solids.

Racking, or "soutirage" as it is known in French, forms and important part of the annual cycle of cellar work, or "élevage", in the production of most fine wines matured in small barrels. Racking from barrel to barrel is very labor intensive and, with the cost of the barrels themselves, one of the chief economic arguments against barrel maturation. Each racking inevitably involves a barrel that needs cleaning.

According to classical élevage, the first racking takes place soon after fermentation and the ensuing maceration to separate the new wine from the gross lees. In cooler regions, the second racking typically takes place just after the first frosts of winter have precipitated some of the tartrates, while in many cellars there is a third in spring and a fourth before the full heat of the summer. Wines may be racked once or twice during a second year in barrel. New Word winemakers have tented to rack less frequently.

Racking is not only part of the clarification process, it is also provides aeration, which, in the case of red wines, is essential to the formation of pigmented tannins and is beneficial to the sensory properties of the wine. Aeration also discourages reduction of any excess sulfur to malodorous hydrogen sulfide.

Pictures of “trasiego” or "racking" at Urbina Winery in Cuzcurrita del Río Tirón. Their wines are characterized by its long aging time, both in the vat, cask, and in bottle, exceeding considerably the minimums demanded by the D.O.Ca Rioja Wine Board. This family of winemakers has one sole objective. To make the most regionally expressive rioja alta wine possible. Using the native varieties of Tempranillo Garnacha and Viura, sourced from their own vineyards. They produce unique amture and mordern wines, each one showing its own personality.

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